An anonymous woman has posted photos of her recent abortion to counteract the often graphic fetus photos carried by pro-life protesters to abortion clinics. The set of fairly benign four photos posted to Thisismyabortion.com show an exam room and then a beaker holding the contents of the resulting abortion done at around 6 weeks of pregnancy.
The photographer, who lives in the United States, explained her actions in The Guardian.
My hope is this project will help dispel the fear, lies and hysteria around abortion, and empower women to make educated decisions for their bodies.
She also noted how her mother underwent a dangerous, illegal abortion years ago in a country where she risked ostracization and even death for her actions. The author accompanied a friend to a clinic for an abortion a year earlier where they were confronted by pro-life protesters holding “supersized images of a newborn child, bloody, bruised, and dead.”
If you’ve ever encountered anti-abortion protesters you have seen these images and worse. These images often feature fully developed babies, rather than the tiny speck of a fetus that has developed by the time most abortions are performed in this country (prior to 12 weeks). At 6-weeks pregnant, the author's embryo would have been about a 1/4 inch, according to medical guides—the size of a lentil or pea.
When those images of dead babies “haunted” her upon entering a clinic for her own abortion, she decided to take her own pictures, secretly documenting the procedure with her cell phone, to change the conversation. Then she created the site Thisismyabortion.com to share her experience with other women, writing:
The perverse use of lifeless fetus photographs are a propaganda tool in the prolife/prochoice debate in which women and their bodies are used as pawns to push a cultural, political, and religious agenda in the United States.
Women often explain choosing an abortion as a highly difficult and personal choice. Bravo to this anonymous photographer for bringing a little more reality to the debate even as she faced a “sobering experience.”